It is 20 February 2015; 10:00am. As I type, ABCTV News 24 is telling us that the category 5 cyclone named Marcia has crossed the Queensland coast near Yeppoon with wind speeds up to 300kph. The ‘cat 5’ ranking is the highest rating possible for severe cyclones. Communities have been evacuated to cyclone shelters or told to batten down and stay indoors. It is a very serious event.
Satellite image of cyclone
Image of cyclone as tracked on radar
Weather maps keep appearing on the television screen to illustrate the current situation in between commentaries from various places that provide an analysis of local situations. Some diagrams are astonishingly beautiful and remind one of van Gogh’s work, especially Starry Night with its swirling brush strokes filling the sky.
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
The variety of weather diagrams that all tell something of the cyclone is interesting. Each gives different information on the same event using different graphics. While one feels for the various communities and can understand the difficulties that they must be enduring, one cannot but ponder the diversity of language and message in images of the same subject, admire the appearance of the diagrams and enjoy their special wonder.
Diagram illustrating predicted direction and strength of cyclone Marcia
ABCTV News 24 present the weather with a graphic illustrating the areas under threat
Mapping social media activity during the event
Cyclone Lam is crossing into Arnheim Land at the same time making what the media has called a 'cyclone sandwich'